Ur-Energy has begun production at its Lost Creek uranium mine in southwestern Wyoming after receiving final approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“We are excited to initiate production operations for the Company at our flagship Lost Creek Project, marking the successful conclusion of eight years of development, regulatory and construction activities,” Ur-Energy president and chief executive officer Wayne Heili said. “Ur-Energy takes our responsibility to the environment, the public and our shareholders seriously, and our team is committed to diligently advancing the project.
The opening comes three months after Cheyenne-based Cameco Resources opened the North Butte uranium mine in Campbell County.
Sixty full-time employees are working at Lost Creek, and there are plans to add 40 contract workers. Ur-Energy says it has long-term contracts to sell the uranium to several U.S.-based nuclear utility companies.
Wyoming produces more uranium than any other state — about 1.6 million pounds a year, or close to one-third of all U.S. production.
Casper-based Uranerz Energy Corp. also plans to open a new uranium mine in Wyoming.
Cameco, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest uranium producers, also intends to add three satellite mines in the area of its Crow Butte Mine near Crawford in western Nebraska. In Wyoming, it plans to develop another satellite mine near Smith Ranch-Highlands and a new mine in the Gas Hills area about 60 miles west of Casper.